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Monday, 9 June 2008

Community Land Trusts can address affordable housing need

Plaid Cymru Ceredigion's Penri James has stressed the importance of developing a network of community land trusts as a possible solution to the current affordable housing crisis facing Ceredigion. The Joseph Rowntree Commission on Rural Housing in Wales published its report this week which warned that rural communities could lose a generation of residents unless action is taken to provide affordable housing so that they can continue to live locally.

Penri James has previously met with Plaid Cymru's Deputy Minister for Housing in the One Wales Government, Jocelyn Davies, to discuss affordable housing and the need to develop community land trusts.

On the need to address the need for more affordable housing in Ceredigion, Penri James said:

"The need to increase the availability of local affordable housing is an issue that is close to my heart and I welcome the Joseph Rowntree Commission's report. The wide chasm between incomes and the cost of a house in Ceredigion dents the aspirations of so many people who want to have a place of their own. As well as modifying housing legislation there is a need to relax the planning laws to allow first time buyers access to the property ladder.

"At the moment, actions to help young people are not possible due to the ridiculously high cost of building plots. The market must be more realistic and Ceredigion County Council should be much more forceful in getting land with planning permission on the market.

"Additionally, the banking of planning permissions should not be allowed and I ask the new Cabinet member with responsibility for this issue, Cllr Gethin James, to act on this matter now. I also believe that the Council needs to be more proactive in encouraging Community Land Trusts as one solution to the lack of affordable housing locally".

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